Featherstone Rovers' Craig Hall taking no chances ahead of 1895 Cup final clash with York City Knights at Wembley

Veteran full-back Craig Hall has placed himself under house arrest to protect his Wembley dream.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:45 pm
Craig Hall. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Fitness-permitting, the 33-year-old will be a key man for Featherstone Rovers in Saturday’s 1895 Cup final against York City Knights.

Having dropped out of the top-flight after a long Super League career which included spells with Hull, Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity, Hall thought his prospects of playing at the national stadium had gone, so he will be taking no risks this week.

“To finally be able to run out at Wembley is going to be amazing for myself and my family and just as big for the club,” Hall said.

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“I am going to enjoy it, but we have still got Covid to deal with so I won’t be leaving the house - only for training, going there and back.

“I won’t be going anywhere in case that gets picked up, but I am definitely going to enjoy the week and the weekend.”

The RFL say “contingencies” are in place should any of this weekend’s four finalists suffer a coronavirus outbreak.

The beaten Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup semi-finalists were on stand-by, but the deadline for them to be able to step in has now passed.

Hall admitted the virus is a real concern ahead of such a big game.

“Obviously it is hard for part-time players,” he stated.

“They still need to work all week, but everyone is covering every base, doing all they can so they are right for next week.”

Rovers have already lost Thomas Minns and Jack Bussey, hurt in the recent win over London Broncos, as well as Brad Day whose season was ended by an Achilles injury last month.

“It was gutting for Brad to be injured the week after the semi-final, then same again for Minnsy and Jack,” Hall added.

“We have done it as a squad this year so Saturday will be for the squad as well.”

Of Featherstone’s chances of lifting the trophy, Hall reflected: “We have great form at the minute and we are playing really well as a team.

“Form-wise you’d say we are probably favourites, but on the day it’s not about form, it’s about who handles the pressure and everything about it.”

Hall had a near-miss in 2008 when he was part of Hull’s initial squad for their Challenge Cup final meeting with St Helens, but did not feature on the day.

He recalled: “I went down for the weekend with them, I was in a 21-man squad and trained the day before, but obviously didn’t make the 17.

“As a 20-year-old kid it was a good experience, but disappointing not to play, with having played in the semi-final.”

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